Rescue begins for passengers trapped in icebound ship in Antarctica - InfoNews

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Rescue begins for passengers trapped in icebound ship in Antarctica

In this Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 image provided by Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, passengers from the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in the ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, walk around the ice. Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography, Andrew Peacock) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
January 01, 2014 - 10:28 PM

CANBERRA, Australia - A long-awaited rescue of passengers on board a Russian research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week is finally underway.

Expedition spokesman Alvin Stone said a helicopter from a nearby Chinese icebreaker landed near the Akademik Shokalskiy on Thursday and the operation to evacuate the 52 scientists and tourists on board had begun.

Expedition leader Chris Turney posted a video on his Twitter account showing the helicopter's arrival.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which is handling the operation, said it was still trying to confirm the reports that the evacuation had begun.

The Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck since Christmas Eve.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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